Admission to the Architecture major will require successful portfolio reviews in addition to fulfillment of the standard University admission requirements.
High school seniors with exceptional visual arts backgrounds can apply directly to the Architecture major when they apply for admission to the University, subject to portfolio review.
UMass students in other majors (or undeclared status) can apply directly to the Architecture major while taking foundations level studios and art history surveys, subject to portfolio review. Due to the length of the program, current UMass students must apply during their first-year at UMass.
External transfer students with strong visual arts backgrounds can apply directly to the major when applying to the University, subject to portfolio review.
A portfolio of up to 15 pieces should represent your best artwork, and it should also demonstrate independent thought and the diversity of your experience in visual arts.
The portfolio must include drawings from direct observation. The portfolio also may include works in 2-D media (painting, photography, printmaking) 3D media (fibers, ceramic, jewelry, metalwork, sculpture, and installations), that convey your strengths. The portfolio may also include a limited number of architectural designs and models, stage designs, fashion or costume designs, or anything else that you have made in art class, a summer exploration program, or on your own.
Your portfolio can include finished pieces, work in progress, and sketches.
Your portfolio should include a cover page that speaks about your interest in architecture, and your aspirations. Transfer students only should also include a letter of intent and unofficial copy(ies) of transcript(s).
Your portfolio should contain 12-15 high-quality reproductions (details below) of your best and most recent art work. Artwork will be evaluated for originality and creativity.
The Program especially encourages works from real-life observation such as still life, figure drawing, portraits / self-portraits, and landscapes.
In addition to observational drawing, works in other media such as painting, 2-D and 3-D designs, photography, woodworking, sculpture, or any other visual media that demonstrate your interest and aptitude in creative and graphic work are encouraged. The portfolio may also include a limited number of architectural designs and models, stage designs, fashion or costume designs, or anything else that you have made in art class, a summer exploration program, or on your own. Your portfolio can include finished pieces, work in progress, and sketches.
Material must be placed in a black or white binder, no larger than 10w x 13h x 1/2d to be considered. Material not placed in a binder will fail consideration. Professionally bound portfolios are not required, but are accepted.
Do not include original work. Reproductions should be high-quality photographs (minimum 5 x 7'). Slides, websites, and CDs are not acceptable and will not be reviewed.
Label each portfolio item with:
High School Seniors [and others applying for first-year status]
Early Action: November 1
Regular Decision: January 15
Current UMass students [must apply during first-year at UMass]
Fall : April 15
Spring: October 1
External Transfer Student
Fall : April 15
Spring: October 1
Please, clearly indicate your name, address, and e-mail on the outside of the portfolio. Send your portfolio to:
Undergraduate Programs Portfolio Review
The Department of Architecture
University of Massachusetts Amherst
353 Fine Arts Center
151 Presidents Dr.
Amherst , MA 01003-9330
The Architecture+Design Program is looking for unique students who are independent thinkers, who observe the world and communicate their observations through creative work and/or research, who are interested in expression and problem solving; people who take initiative.
The Architecture+Design Program encourages applicants from all disciplines and backgrounds. Graduates from a B.Arch, a BS in Architectural Studies or an equivalent degree may be given advanced standing in the Master of Architecture.
UMass Amherst BFA Architecture majors who have completed their degrees may apply to the Master of Architecture with advanced standing and complete their degree in a minimum of two years.
Prospective students to the Master of Architecture program are required to have completed one semester each of calculus, physics and architectural history prior to program admission.
The portfolio submission should represent previous creative work and/or research. A portfolio of creative work should include twenty to thirty color images of art, architecture, and/or design work.
A physical portfolio of photographs or copies in a book form, slides, a digital portfolio or a web site portfolio will all be accepted. The Architecture+Design Program reviewers will only look at a physical book, not to exceed a basic 8 1/2 X 11 format. The Department of Art, Architecture and Art History is not responsible for reviewing materials that are not readily accessible.
February 1st M.S. Design in Historic Preservation has open "Rolling Admissions" throughout the year. Applicants can apply at any time for admission to the program in either the Fall or Spring.